I don’t know if any of the political analysts have focused on the speeches delivered at the UN General Assembly by the heads of delegations from Guinea Conakry and Mali.
The head of the military junta of Guinea, Col. Mamady Doumbouya gave what many have dubbed a historical and moving speech.
What makes Col. Mamady Doumbouya’s speech very significant is the fact that it was delivered on the heels after wider condemnation of coups in Africa both by the Africa Union and the West African regional body ECOWAS.
It then appears that Col. Doumbouya was determined to go to the UNGA to address those condemnations and also justify why him and the other military soldiers in West Africa had to carry out putsches that ousted their bosses.
The recent coups in Africa are attempts by militaries to save their countries from the Presidents’ “broken promises,” said Col. Doumbouya.
Col. Mamady Doumbouya, told the U.N. General Assembly that beyond condemning the coups, global leaders must also “look to and address the deep-rooted causes of such coups.”
“The putschist is not only the person who takes up arms to overthrow a regime,” he told the gathering of world leaders in New York. “I want us all to be well aware of the fact that the real putschists, the most numerous, are those who avoid any condemnation – they are those … who cheat to manipulate the text of the constitution in order to stay in power eternally.”
Doumbouya accused some leaders in Africa of clinging to power by any means – often including amending the constitution – to the detriment of their people.
In Guinea, he said he led soldiers to depose then-President Alpha Conde in the September 2021 coup to prevent the country from “slipping into complete chaos.” He said the situation was similar in other countries hit by coups and was a result of “broken promises, the lethargy of the people and leaders tampering with constitutions with the sole concern of remaining in power to the detriment of collective well-being.”
Col. Mamady Doumbouya also rebuffed the interference by the West and other foreign powers in the affairs of Africa.
“We Africans are insulted by the boxes, the categories in which sometimes we are placed under that of Americans, sometimes under that of the British, the French, the Chinese and the Turks,” the Guinean leader said. “Today, the African people are more awake than ever and more than ever determined to take their destiny into their own hands” the Guinea leader emphasized.
Now, this was a hard hitting opening of heart by a frustrated soldier serving in an African government. In seeking to deflate the condemnations of coups, Col. Doumbouya also was sounding a warning to many other African leaders of the potential occurrence of military putsch for the very reasons that all the other putsches have taken place.
Hopefully, leaders of the delegations particularly from Africa that were in attendance while the Guinea leader was making his remarks in the UN General Assembly will be able to get back home and reflect on these warnings.
It will be foolhardy for anyone to possibly hold a view that putsches were inevitably able to happen only in those five West African countries.
We know that human beings are the same in their aspirations. The desires of the military serving officers in Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso and elsewhere of wanting to see well organized governments that effectively respond to the aspirations of the citizenry is the same across all the military profiles.
So when and wherever those in power are perceived as having fallen short of the expectations of those that they lead, then that country must embrace itself for the possibility of a putsch.
It can therefore be concluded that the condemnations of putsches in Africa by the African Union or ECOWAS just in a similar manner that it didn’t deter the subsequent putsches in other African states, no amount of international lurkster response towards these events will insulate any country or any ruler from the reactions of the military.